I don’t usually go out on Christmas Day, despite having enough invitations. Somehow I’ve always felt uncomfortable about visiting people, even close friends, as they inevitably have family there or friends I don’t know and that makes me feel a little out of place. An exception was two years ago when I went across London for dinner; but that was on Boxing Day: had to be really otherwise there was no transport. This year was slightly different though as my friends Kev and Bev had invited me on Christmas Day and offered to collect me by car. They’ve moved now from Basildon and are living quite near Highgate in the Finchley area – only a 15 minute drive or so away by car. Kev collected me around 12. 30 and the roads were mainly clear, although some of the minor pavements were still covered with unmelted snow. I could never have got there on my own, even if there had have been buses.
Bev was inside watching prepared food and preparing more, and had already laid a table in the comfortable dining room where I was told to ‘make my self at home’. There was a wide screen television on in a corner but nobody seemed to be taking much notice of it. The food smelt pleasant enough, but it was hard to identify what this was. I guessed it was a casserole of some sorts and Bev said it would be ready after 2. In the meantime, Kev poured me a glass of wine from a bottle on the table, but I noticed Bev and himself were drinking orange juice.
We eventually sat down to eat, and the meal was exceptionally good. Bev explained that most of the food was organic – and that even included the wine. Then there was pudding followed by fresh fruit and in between, Kev was talking about his new job, which was the reason that had persuaded them to move. He also told me about his stays in Torremolinos in Spain adding that he wished he was back there at the moment to escape all the London snow…We had a lot in common there for I had already told him on an earlier occasion that it was in this Spanish holiday resort that I’d stayed in 1966 and was to eventually meet and marry my first wife. I had devoted several chapters to my stay there in my autobiography which they’d both read. We discussed how the town had really changed no; or rather extended its boundaries for some miles along the coast.
They’d also read patsy Langley’s book The Highgate Vampire Casebook and it was this that had really caused his old address to be exposed. (An ex-friend of their’s had given the address out for postage purposes and then tried to deny that he had given this address to patsy, the book’s author)..
But they both expressed great interest in my own book which went into great detail about the Highgate case. Kev explained that he knew most of the early history anyway, although I was surprised to learn that this went back to the early 1970’s when he was working as a life guard at Hornsey Road Baths in Holloway. He knew somebody else involved in the case at that time and before long he produced a load of photographs (most in black and white) which showed people whom I immediately recognised.
We talked for most of the afternoon and he was not in the least offended when I twice went outside for need of a cigarette.
I was intrigued by his detailed knowledge of the Highgate case (and other escapades that surrounded it) and said he had kept all the letters and emails he had kept in relation to this.
I will not detail all this information here in a relatively short Blog, as I would first like to take in some of the implications.
But I did explain my own part in this, and of how this had been totally distorted by some area’s of the Press – or more precisely, some people trying to manipulate some area’s of the Press.
Kev ran me back about 7 although before I left I invited both of them to come over to my flat one afternoon to meet Patsy and her fiancé. Patsy had already agreed to the idea and I said it was just a question of arranging a date. So that will be another meeting for the near future.
And then, of course, I have to meet Della again about the Highgate saga. But I wouldn’t imagine much will happen until after the Christmas period now. Everything has virtually shut down for this coming week.
But it was another eventful day. Thanks again Bev and Kev.